When students and staff arrive at Barretts Elementary School in Parkway Schools each morning, one of the first smiling faces they will see each day is that of Evan Glaser. Each morning, when he gets off of the bus, Evan waits by the front door to greet everyone with high fives and a smile.
“Evan has such an enthusiasm for people and for life,” said Mary Hackworth, an SSD occupational therapist.
This is a dramatic change from just a couple of years ago when it was a challenge to get Evan to participate in any activities.
Today, you can find him navigating the school by himself, greeting peers and teachers along the way. He recently acquired an augmentative communication device, which has made him even more social than before.
“Evan will navigate through the iPad screens to say hi and bye to students and staff at school,” Hackworth said. “He made my heart melt last time he walked into my room for therapy. He looked at me, smiled, and navigated to his iPad to say, ‘I like you.’”
Evan’s eagerness to interact with others has translated to a love for theater. He recently completed a production of “The Wizard of Oz” with JCC Youth Theatre.
“He loves performing and inspires other actors as he shines on stage and fully participates in each performance,” Hackworth said.